Israel is being accused of ‘occupying’ the West Bank. The historical background of this ‘occupation’ is rooted in the act of aggression by the Jordanian army joining Abdel Nasser in the six days war after the late Egyptian President convinced king Hussein that he is winning the war.., see here. But fortunately, as we know, the IDF won the war, and perhaps unfortunately, Israel and the Palestinians, until now, didn’t find the solution to end this historical tragedy caused by king Hussein’s miscalculated aggression on Israel.
But in face of the Arabic ‘Human Rights’ insurrection in Tunis, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Syria and Iran, it would be necessary to redefine what ‘occupied ‘ means in their case. Because the only ‘aggression’ perpetuated by the people of those states was the fight for their own human rights in their own countries against their own corrupt regime.
In Syria, for instance, Bashar al-Assad’s regime belongs to the Alawy (His family has filled security organs with loyal members of his own religious group with the purpose of retaining his power. His military, ruling elite, and secret police are closely inter weaved).
Remembering that Bashar Assad’s father Hafez al-Assad had over 17,000 killed in the town of Hama in 1982 following protests there, we see now the same pattern, see here (“Mail Online”): “Up to 100 people were feared dead and many more injured after Syria exploded in violence yesterday.”
So, remembering that 13% of Alawite, Bashar Assad ethnic group, rule on about 74% of Sunnis Muslims, and that Bashar Assad was elected by 97 %..(?) of the Syrian voters give the real picture of the Alawyte Occupation Regime in Syria and his desperate decision to maintain his occupation regime in Syria by any means, andto fight the pro democracy protesters until dead.
So what we politically correct know as a a legal dictatorship, approved, under the cover of the western world’s interests, is only the inner occupation of a population by their own ruthless regime: see former Tunis, Yemen, Egypt, Libya and perhaps in the future ‘former Iran’.
Amid the Human Rights cataclysm overthrowing all the venerable despotic regimes in the Middle East, I heard on AlJazeera, the ‘brave words’ of Roger Waters the Pink Floyd frontman.
Interviewed by Riz Khan he says among other things (or vagaries) that he is against Israel’s apartheid regime, that he is not antisemitic but against occupation. He also says that …”They’re annexing huge parts of the West Bank. So all this talk is they’re quietly getting on with taking over the whole of the land, and what happens then to the Palestinians?”…see here on YNET (Roger Waters: Join Israel boycott)
(Photo from the “Catbird Seat” site, holding the credo: “We are committed to exposing the Zionist Lobbies control of American policy for the Middle East.”)
It would be futile to try to argue with Roger Water that in any true agreement almost 90 % of the West Bank is and remains Palestinian, see here (former American President Clinton) and here (former Israeli PM Olmert)
It would also be futile to tell Roger Water that his attempt to transplant South Africa’s apartheid to Israel is nothing more than a lack of total understanding of what the real apartheid was. For a more impartial view see here on Wikipedia “Israel and the Apartheid Analogy”.
Perhaps you forgot, Mr Waters: the late British Empire reigned in Palestine for many decades. Your enlightened kingdom is the father of a brutal colonialism and of every possible form of occupation. Remember the ship Exodus, the Jewish emigrants swapping the Nazi concentration camps for the British Empire concentration camps in Cyprus. Here the demarcation ‘wall’ was the ocean..
Now again, it is futile to think that such historical facts deserve any consideration when you are being interviewed on AlJazeera and become a self appointed expert on apartheid, occupation and walls.
( The musical Pink Floyd ‘..Wall” was pretty better..)
Now, If we quote explicitly from the “Israel and the Apartheid Analogy” article then people with much more credits (than Roger Waters) about what apartheid was and is, denounce his falsification of the reality in the West Bank, long before he gave his last concert in Israel:
Malcolm Hedding, a South African minister who worked against South African apartheid, believes the barrier fence has nothing to do with apartheid and everything to do with Israel’s self-defense. He said that Israel has proven its desire to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians while granting political rights to its own Arab citizens within a liberal democratic system, but that the Palestinians remain committed to Israel’s destruction. By contrast, he says, it was a tiny minority in South Africa that held power and once democracy came, the Nationalist Party that had dominated the masses disappeared
.”Sudanese human rights activist Simon Deng has also criticized Tutu for referring to Israel as an apartheid state, stating that Arabs in Israel enjoy a variety of rights that blacks in apartheid-era South Africa did not, including the right to vote, and that Palestinians are only stopped at checkpoints to prevent attacks. Deng asks why Tutu criticizes Israel for apartheid policies it does not have, but ignores actual apartheid practices in other countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and especially his own country Sudan.”..
BTW, if talking about the checkpoints in the west bank they are greatly reduced because of the cooperation of the Palestinian and the Israeli to maintain the security needs of both sides.. I quote:
…”Israel says it has significantly reduced the number of roadblocks in the territories since they peaked some five years ago when terrorist attacks were more prevalent and the security barrier between Israel and the Palestinian Authority had not yet been completed. Today, there are 13 roadblocks around Jerusalem and some 40 others, most of these on the border, but also a number in the heart of the West Bank. “..
…“The days of long lines don’t exist anymore. The IDF has learned the lessons and has even set up special units to deal with roadblocks,” Lt.-Col. Avital Leibovitz, an IDF spokeswoman, told The Media Line. “The lines of the past years you don’t see anymore. Of course, you can wait sometimes for 20 minutes, but that can happen to you in any traffic jam.”…see here for the full article “Palestinians turn to technology to avoid roadblocks”.
Roger Waters, as a new member on the list of celebrities boycotting Israel, you are a member of a minority group, and as such you have the right to say what you want. But I would expect from such a good musician to make better home work before he is interviewed on AlJazeera by Riz Khan.
After the ignoble Palestinian terrorist attack, in which the Fogel family – father, mother and their 3 little children from the Itamar settlement, where brutally massacred in their sleep, you ask yourself: how can you make pace with such an horde of predators?
It seems that in the aftermath of the massacre, Arab-Israeli Lawmaker Ahmed Tibi, pretty well understood that this sort of satanic ‘heroism’ is the shortest road to nothing including the nothingness of a Palestinian state, so he says:
“The Palestinian nation is ashamed”… and more… “A struggle must be moral, conscionable and fair. There are rules to the struggle against the occupation.”see here “Tibi: Palestinians ashamed of Itamar attack”
Now here is a curious historical event dating from 1921, concerning another facet of the Israeli-Arab conflict, and related in some way to the impossible road taken by those assassins who call themselves freedom fighters..
…In March 1921, twenty six years before the The United Nations General Assembly voted to partition Palestine, Mr. Winston Churchill visited Palestine and met a delegation of Muslim leaders. They protested that the ultimate objective of political Zionism was to give the natural resources of Palestine to the Jews. They pointed out that the Arabs had occupied Palestine for over a thousand years. They asked Churchill to use his influence to correct what they considered a great injustice.
‘You ask me to repudiate the Balfour Declaration and to stop (Jewish) immigration. This is not in my power … and it is not my wish … It is manifestly right that the scattered Jews should have a national center, and a national home to be re-united, and where else but in Palestine, with which for three thousand years they have been intimately and profoundly associated?
We think it will be good for the world, good for the Jews, good for the British Empire, but also good for the Arabs who dwell in Palestine…they shall share in the benefits and progress of Zionism.
I am told the Arabs would have done it for themselves. Who is going to believe that? Left to themselves, the Arabs of Palestine would not in a thousand years have taken effective steps toward the irrigation and electrification of Palestine. They would have been quite content to dwell–a handful of philosophic people– in the sun-scorched plains, letting the waters of the Jordan continue to flow unbridled and unharnessed into the Dead Sea!”
Well isn’t here more than irony in Churchill’s proposal that the Palestinian ..”share in the benefits and progress of Zionism.”?
I wouldn’t go so far. The Palestinians, I would like to believe, know very well that there are many forms of cooperation , see here for instance:
..”On the side of the Jordan Valley road the extensive agricultural activity is visible from afar. Dozens of greenhouses and long lines of palm trees add ornamentation to the roadside view and demonstrate the economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians, which is carrying on quietly, far from political problems.”..
…”According to Snokrut (former Palestinian Economy Minister), ‘This is an Israeli-Palestinian connection that has created trust between the two sides. We are working with no enemies here. We have joint creation with many companies from the Israeli economy – we buy their technology and seedlings and through them export to Europe and the US and even have Israeli agronomists here.’ “…see more: “Joining forces on agriculture”.
So, President Mahmoud Abbas and PM Fayyad, make your own Palestinian choice : to be Dr. Jekyll or to be Mr. Hyde… The game is open.
Tomato greenhouse in Jordan Valley (Photo: Elior Levy).
After the Tunisian and Egyptian uprising and the overthrow of their respective rulers Ben-Ali and Mubarak, the Libyan uprising leaves us in the reign of a twilight of incertitude about the Middle East next social convulsion to be delivered by facebook, and Twitter.
So, what did we actually not know, to be so shamefully ignorant about what is going on under our nose.
Well to say something intelligent, they, the commentators, TV, newspapers etc., gave our ignorance a name: a sudden social Big Bang, ex nihilo, with a domino effect. No we are reassured, we have a new anchor to stabilize our drifting ignorance. We are able to made a judicious choice about the next falling domino.. Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, ..who knows?
In fact. From human historical consideration: did anyone predict the fall of the Berlin wall and the disintegration of Stalin’s Russia? Or from natural causes: did anyone ever predict the exact hour of an earthquake or a tsunami?
Now this last sort of ignorance can be called legitimate ignorance. Our predictive powers are modest in contrast to the innumerable factors governing mother nature probabilistic evolving.
But as to our social ignorance? The Libyan uprising is a good example pointing to the European ‘trade-in market’ with his privileged tendency tobuy ignorance about Libya in cash money together with the crude oil (see here on “Business Pundit”) . This sort of ignorance is far from being legitimate: it is shameful and deliberate.
It has to do with human rights, oppression, big money. To ignore deliberately what the Gaddafi regime did and is doing now at this very moment by killing his own people, (see Hisham Matar) trying so to save by any means his evil and cruel regime, is putting the enlightened world on the same foot as Gaddafi himself.
It would now be bon ton to ask : “Where are you Judge Goldstone” , you the defender of the human rights . There is much work at stake.. in Libya, (see here “Is Arab violence permitted?“).
The Icelandic-European ash crisis is not coming to an end. The press and the visual media produces pictures like the ash map (below) and literary phrases like “…the towering fountain of ash from an Icelandic volcano…” a citation from the New York Time, see ” Air Travel Crisis Deepens as Europe Fears Wider Impact..”
The biblical reminiscence from the above NYT press citation “… towering fountain of ash…” lead us from the ash to ..”for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:19).
Post Headlines like Lebbeous Woods’s ‘Ascending Darkness‘ addressing the ash crisis and alluding to the SF series Babylon, fit well into more biblical keywords: earth, fire and ground and wind, redefined into the perpetual volcanic convulsions of mother earth and their unpredictable brutal attack staging the real horror movie: “… darkness was over the surface of the deep….”Genesis 1:2
The brutal impersonal eruption of the Icelandic volcano (Eyjafjallajökull) shows us once more that our own human volcanic eruptions are risible gestures in contrast to the autonomous incomprehensible life of mother nature.
Even Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech, showing his destructive obsession about Israeli , I quote:
“This is the will of the regional nations that after 60 odd years, the root of this corrupt microbe and the main reason for insecurity in the region be pulled out.”.. see “Uproot corrupt microbe Israel“,…
will not deter the inexorable course of the secret movement of Earth’s underground armies stationed in the Middle East. The common denominator of their impersonal Sodom and Gomorrah scenario does not taking into consideration who is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and where is Iran. In this context the same can be said on Israel . And we don’t forget Europe’s flight crisis..
Anyway Ahmadinejad’s rogue words instill an new Islamic ‘social order ‘ map: a man made gathering of hot ash hanging over our heads like Damocles sword.
Ash in the sky
BTW, the name of the Icelandic volcano: Eyjafjallajoekull means “My fingers are on the wrong keys on the keyboard” in Icelandic, see here on “Greg Laden’s Blog‘.
In an article published by the Israeli newspaper ” Maariv, nrg” named (loosely translated from Hebrew as..) “Sense and Sensibility”, I found the following YouTube video clip:
So the video clip’s advice is that young Arab men, in particular Egyptian men, should sexually harass Israeli girls. Under the impact of such a gallant advice , I did some further inquiry on sexual harassment in Egypt and found that, I quote:
..”[In Egypt], “out of a sample of 1,000, 83 percent [are] reported being verbally or physically abused” or in plain English are subject to sexual harassment,”.. see the article here.
Adding more information from the same article:
..”With more and more women in schools, the workplace and politics, roles have changed but often traditional attitudes have not. Experts said in some places, like Egypt, harassment appears sometimes to be out of vengeance, from men blaming women for denied work opportunities.
Amal Madbouli, who wears the conservative face veil or niqab, told The Associated Press that despite her dress, she is harassed and described how a man came after her in the streets of her neighborhood.
‘He hissed at me and kept asking me if I wanted to go with him to a quieter area, and to give him my phone number,’ said Madbouli, a mother of two. ‘This is a national security issue. I am a mother, and I want to be reassured when my daughters go out on the streets.’
From another source quoting the above video clip here is an excerpt:
Egyptian lawyer Nagla Al-Imam gave to Al-Arabiya TV on October 31, 2008. He urges young Arab men to sexually harass Israeli girls “wherever they may be” as a new means of “resistance.”..
Nagla Al-Imam said: “This is a form of resistance. In my opinion, they are fair game for all Arabs, and there is nothing wrong with it.”
“[The message of this sexual harassment is] leave the land so we won’t rape you.”
The last quoted paragraph in accordance with the above video clip is a succulent piece of imbecility, because if sexual harassing of Israeli women is a new form of resistance against Israel then what is sexual harassing of Egyptian women by the same Egyptian men ? Is it resistance against Egypt? Against President Mubarak ….against women….
Anyway, if out a sample of 1,000 , 83 percent of Egyptian women reported sexual harassment by Egyptian men then those new erotic freedom fighter are well fit for their new job against Israel.
As the Dubai assassination is accumulating more and more ‘evidences’ the mystery is growing in the same proportion.
…”UK probes fake passports in Hamas killing..
British PM Brown pledges ‘full investigation’ into how fake British passports were linked to killers of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.’ in Dubai, see here.
But in some way the underlying real story is that of the digital cameras monitoring the people entering the hotel’s main entrance. With their benevolent help the Dubai police says she was able to reconstruct a plausible plot pointing to the group who presumably perpetuated the assassination of al-Mabhoud.
“The Group”, click to enlarge.
Should it come as a surprise? No, today in the era of the pixel, when every urban corner is infested by digital devices screening, filtering and distorting the visual space beyond the monitor display, you may use the title of the celebrated James Joyce’s novel, “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” paraphrased into ‘You the citizen as a Fake digital Portrait of Yourself”‘.
You may ask: why equating ‘citizen’ to ‘fake portrait of himself’? Are Rembrandt’s auto portrait not some sort of fake of himself? Well no, a priory he was himself and himself is what he painted to finally be exhibited in the.. Tate gallery. The digital camera is not you and a priory know nothing about your existence while being busy at filming you.
But in terms of being exhibited, you are exhibited, but not in a gallery. You are exhibited for your lifetime and afterward in the digital archives basements of your own country or elsewhere, with the help of your Gmail, facebook, Twitter, MySpace, You Tube … and I forget, your blog and your cellular.. and so on. You model and promote yourself into a pixelike fake auto portrait available to anyone on the information highway.
But again, why ‘Fake”? Because the pixel created in a monitor is only pure photon energy radiated into our eyes and brain without palpable substance. It’s you and not you. This sort of faking the assassination in Dubai is something impersonal automatically performed on the fly by the cameras, created by cutting out a very partial digital picture from the monitored space and inferring from this digital snapshot on the whole peripheral space of your own live. Is that not a fake re-creation of yourself ..far away from a printed photo, drawing or painting and sculpture who embodied something from the people who created them via yours and their own personality, reverberating an intimate proximity with you.
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, click to enlarge,
Now, the whole Mahmoud al-Mabhouh affair is almost an Hollywood espionage thriller, where the acting role of the digital cameras monitoring the hotel entrance, the cameras monitoring the airport the customs, the town and putting it shorty our entire living space are well worth an Oscar in the category of the best acting actor .
When I read about identity theft of innocent citizens from the UK, Ireland France and Germany I smile. Dubai is monitoring her entire human traffic and is perpetuating a massive identity theft, copying passports visas and anything that can be stored digitally for any purpose legal or illegal. The UK, Ireland, France and Germany do the same..but ultimately it is a gigantic fake portrait inviting or forcing you to agree with.
This is far away from the meticulous investigations of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson where the reality was dust, blood, stains and some lost handkerchief in a modest local neighborhood in contrast to the third millennium digital globalization.
So putting aside for a moment the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, lets admit that we live in ‘A brave new world’….rewritten in terms of a global digital scanning machinery putting in danger any one of us now or in the future . If the Mossad did the assassination, he knows how to defend himself. We, the ordinary people.. ‘don’t know which way to go…’ .
As a footnote, way not, for us living in the digital era, here is the pixelization of Haifa Whebe and Lady Gaga,
done with the Photoshop threshold tool, reducing them to some binary form… 010001001111..being kept in some dusted mystery house basement. Click to enlarge.
Does the West Bank boycott the occupied territories?
The above phrase ‘looks’ like the ‘Drawing Hands’ from Escher: the West Bank hand drawing his involvement with Israel and vice versa.. Israel’s hand drawing her involvement with the occupied territories..
(Drawing Hands, Escher).
With this picture in my mind, I read one of the last announcement to boycott Israel, I quote …” The Spanish Housing Ministry has disqualified Ariel University Center from the international Solar Decathlon contest, on the grounds that the university is “located in occupied territories.”see here.
Well yes the Ariel University Center is located in the West Bank in the occupied territories. But does all those ‘beautiful people’ in Spain ask themselves, if their preaching to boycott Israel has any real repercussion in the West Bank (..the occupied territories)?
Surprisingly perhaps, here is an answer by:
…”The governor of Bethlehem, Salah Tamari [said,]“Israelis are paranoid because of their past, while Palestinians are paranoid because of their present,” Mr. Tamari said. “But we are doomed to live together or blessed to live together, depending on your point of view. It is true that the economy is improving slightly. But beyond that, I’m afraid very little is getting easier.“ see here.
Or in more optimist words by the Bethlehem’s mayor Victor Batarseh:
It has been the best year since 1999,” …. “Our hotels are full, whereas three years ago there
“ was almost nobody. Unemployment is below 20 percent. But we are still under occupation.”,see here.
This shows the gap between unscrupulous cowardly armchair professional boycotts of Israel, and what happens in everyday life in the West Bank. If we want to understand the difficulties of those who are “doomed to live together or blessed to live together,…” as said by the governor of Bethlehem, Salah Tamari, then ‘doomed’ can be transformed into something closer to ‘blessed’.
The boycotters, mainly from Europe and Scandinavia, have no idea of what’s really going on in the West Bank. Reading boring economic reports from Palestinian and Israeli statistical sources is only a nuisance to their obsession to denounce Israel as the bad guy.
Here is a example of such a boring nuisance. The “Report of the Government of Israel to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee New York, September 22, 2009” ,see here, , shows valuable information about the actual… (blessed)… relation between the West Bank and Israel. The information about the West Bank economy comes in part from the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics:
…”This relative economic growth and an improved quality of life are demonstrated by a flourishing of economic, cultural and social activities, including the opening of a shopping mall and a cinema complex in Nablus, the project to build the city of Rawabi, and increased activity of cafes and restaurants throughout the West Bank. According to official Palestinian sources,1 since 2008, foreign investment in the West Bank has increased by 600%, as a result of economic conferences held in Bethlehem and Nablus and the improved security situation on the ground. A sharp increase in cement consumption reaching, during the first half of 2009 alone, a figure exceeding by 18%, amounts consumed in all of 2008, reflects the high volume of construction activity on the ground.
During the first quarter of 2009, the Palestinian GDP increased by 5.6% compared to the parallel quarter in 2008 (despite early estimates by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, predicting that the annual GDP would shrink by 3.1%). According to IMF estimates, economic growth in 2009 is expected to reach 7%. However, if the trend of growth recorded in the first quarter of 2009 continues, annual economic growth for 2009 could even surpass these relatively optimistic IMF forecasts. This increase continues despite the global economic crisis. Most economic sectors contributed to this acceleration in economic activity.”….
So to return to the question: does the West Bank boycott the ‘Occupied Territories’, I quote from the article “Green Shoots in Palestine II” published by the NYT and written by Thomas L. Friedman :
…”..many Israelis were no doubt surprised to read this quote in the Maariv daily from Omar Hashim, deputy chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Nablus, the commercial center of the West Bank: “Traders here are satisfied,” said Hashim. “Their sales are rising. They feel that life is returning to normal. There is a strong sense of optimism.”…
…“You can feel the movement,” said Olfat Hammad, the associate director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, who lives in Nablus and works in Ramallah. “It is not a burden anymore to move around to Ramallah for business meetings and social meetings.” Nablus recently opened its first multiplex, “Cinema City,” as well as a multistory furniture mart designed to cater to Israelis. Ramallah’s real estate prices have skyrocketed.
“I have had a 70 percent increase in sales,” Maariv quoted a Nablus shoe store owner as saying. “People are coming from the villages nearby, and from other cities in the West Bank and from Israel.”…see here .
And how do the Palestinian West Bank residents cope with the their own difficulties? From the site “Ramallah Syndrome” here is a excerpt from a discussion:
Maybe a point is the definition of resistance. We always refer to the first intifada as a model, the only model, which can be a problem. Lisa’s articles and also Nasser’s article say there is a different form of resistance today. Then you didn’t go to the cinema because you were resisting, now it’s different. It’s not only negative. We are also a part of that, we are also having a life. It would be stupid to have the same model as the first intifada for the sake of it. But it has to be said that the opposite is also stupid, when you are building your career on Palestine, on the tragedy of Palestine, and having a normal life. And honestly, everyone here even though they are under occupation, is enjoying his or her life to some level, so you can also resist and have a normal life. The Lebanese have always managed to balance resisting and also trying to enjoy life. I don’t think it’s completely wrong.”… see here,
(extracts from conversations N. 1/Oct. 2008 and N. 2/Dec. 2008)
So the discussion and the doubts arising from economic prosperity without resistance is the lesser of evil for many, but for the belligerent Palestinian leaders it is an anathema, I quote (“Beware ‘economic peace” by Sever Plocker inYnet) :
…”The economic normalization threatens the revolutionary and radical elements within Palestinian society, and they swore not to allow this normalization to take root. It’s perceived by them as indirect reconciliation with the occupation. A national liberation movement, and certainly a national-religious one, withers away when the masses go out to shop rather than to demonstrate.
The reinforcement of a Palestinian middle class, which may fall in love with a routine life, reject the ongoing struggle, and enjoy its proximity to the large Israeli market is anathema in the view of the militant leadership, and not only there. The tensions between economic and personal progress and a diplomatic and national dead-end tear Palestinian society apart.”… see here.
Another observer, Daniel Schueftan in his article “The Palestinians did it again” put a direct emphasis,, on ..I quote:
…”The Palestinians are proving yet again that even the responsible elements among them cannot act in a constructive manner in order to build society and promote stability, welfare, and an agreement with Israel. They cannot do it because, as it turned out again, at the moment of truth we see the irresponsible, violent, and demagogical radicals who incite and fan the flames gain the upper hand.”…
…”Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is attempting, for the first time, to utilize the generous foreign aid for constructive aims and build a functioning society. President Abbas and his people realized (belatedly) the gravity of the terror curse and Hamas’ existential threat. Under their political patronage, the United States trained Palestinian security forces (the so-called “Dayton forces”) who are doing well in the fight against terrorism and its infrastructure.”…
…”However, this is where the self-destruction mechanism that has been thwarting the Palestinian people since it was formed almost 90 years ago came into action: An irresponsible and belligerent minority turns to violence, radical elements promise a zealous public immediate satisfaction via “victimization demagoguery,” and this immediately prompts the responsible elements to assume a defensive posture and be neutralized in the political arena.”….see here.
These are only a few glimpses 0n what really happens in the West Bank between The Israelis and the Palestinians despite all the security frictions all the animosities and mistrust. This is also a pointer to what can be done with hard work from both sides.
Will this convince the ‘enlightened’ Spanish and other European boycotters? My bet is no, for the simple reason that their only aim is to harm Israel not to help the Palestinians…Their belligerent destructive boycott is also harming Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s attempt to build a new Palestinian economy…. So as the old adage says ..”While dogs bark, the caravan passes.”
The “proof-of-life” video statement by Gilad Shalit. The price for the video information: twenty terrorist women swapped for Gilad. The hope: his return home to his family in Israel as soon as possible .
Here is the full text of the video statement of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, captured and held hostage by the Hamas since June 2006.
…”Hi, I am Gilad Shalit, son of Aviva and Noam Shalit, brother of Hadas and Yoel, from Mitzpe Hilla, ID number 300097029. Today is Monday 14 September 2009.
As you can see, I’m holding in my hand today’s Palestine newspaper, 14th September 2009, which is published in Gaza.
I’m reading the newspaper in order to find information about myself, and I hope to find information about my release and return home soon.
I have been waiting and yearning a long time for the day I will be released.
I hope the current government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu will not waste this opportunity to finalise the deal and that as a result I will finally be able to realise my dream and be released.
I want to send my regards to my family, to tell them that I love them and miss them a lot, and yearn for the day that I will see them.
Father, Yoel and Hadas, do you remember the day when you arrived at my base in Ramat Ha-Golan, on the 31st December 2005, which, if I’m not mistaken, is called Revia Bet? We did a tour around the base. You took a picture of me on top of the Merkava tank, and on top of one of the old tanks at the entrance to the base.
Afterwards, we drove to a restaurant in one of the Druze villages, and on the way we took a picture on the side of the road with the snow-covered Mount Hermon.
I want to tell you that I am well in terms of my health. The mujahideen of the Izzeddine al-Qassam Brigades are treating me fine.
A few days ago Sky News reported a couple of news mentioning the name Goldstone. The first was about an outbreak of the e-coli disease in the Goldstone pet farm ( Surrey, UK), and the second was the Goldstone commission report about the Cast Lead war between Israel and the Hamas. . I was almost temped to say: perhaps another sort of disease, breed in the Universal Human Rights laboratories specifically targeting Israel.
Well, no, the report is not a disease. Ex judge Richard Goldstone is an honorable men. His credentials as a Zionist and Israel lover are beyond doubts. He is a first rate jurist with overwhelming experience in war crimes jurisdiction.
So this Zionist Israel lover is the men accusing Israel of war crimes, putting her in the same league as the Nazi criminals in the Nirenberg Trials. He is not drawing a demarcation lines between the premeditated Wannsee plan of exterminating the Jews and in fact exterminating 6 million of them, and between Israel’s self defence war, causing 1300 war casualties mostly Hamas men.
Let me remind to myself: the Cast Lead war was only the final result of a 7 year shelling of more than 8000 qassam rockets targeting half a million of civilians living in south Israel by the Hamas ,
So where is the catch? what is going wrong?
Well to say it frankly. Nothing is going wrong, there is no catch at all. Ex judge Goldstone report is viewing and judging the today terrorist warfare trough the codex of WW2 war crimes .
He has taken a snapshot named the “Cast Lead” war, a war whose causes are fossilized deep into the report as not fitting directly in the overall schema of what he sees as war crimes . Israel’s attempt to stop the rocket launching on his southern civilian population is, in his view, well fitting in his scheme of war crimes:
…”Israel is currently fighting under, and being judged by, the laws of World War II, which are suitable for conventional wars between two or more armies in open fields, where it is easier to define proportionality.
But what do you do when terrorists hide under homes, or when they don’t wear uniforms? What do you do when the enemy high command runs its operations from under a hospital located in a crowded neighborhood, as Hamas did during Cast Lead, using the basement of Shifa Hospital as a command and control center? It is clear that the existing laws of war are incompatible with the current and evolving nature of war”…, see here.
This is a situation of incompatibilities where hypothetical soldiers will be forced to ask in the middle of battle who is a civilian and who is a terrorist and meanwhile be killed and perhaps loosing a self defense war..
Ex judge Goldstone’s report does not provide much help to solve such incompatibilities or ‘minor’ problems. But on the other hand his report is a panacea for the terrorist who can now rely on his WW2 codex jurisdiction to continue without fear, from within any civilian population, be it in Afghanistan, Iraq or any other country or European capital, and perpetuate any crimes, and if civilians may be killed in the attempt of the local forces to stop them, the blame of war crimes will fall on the defenders.
What conclusions, if any, can be drawn from the encounter of ex judge Goldstone, Hamas terrorism and Israel defending her citizens. In the short run all are shouting in one great cacophony. Right wing speakers blame the world for his hypocrisy. See Obama in Afghanistan, Putin in Tchetchenia… etc. Leftists and fringe speakers accuse Israel for all the vicissitudes of the world, see the boycotters from the UK, Toronto …etc.
But in the long run, and in our days the long run is relatively short, each of the belligerent parties will readjust himself to the new Goldstone conditions or fight them , fine tuning his intelligence capacities and improving his high-tech weaponry. The smarter will do the hack better. But if the Jihadist mentality against Israel will prevail, then de facto, nothing will radically change for both sides. Israel and the Hamas will continue their clashes.
This is the world today, a ‘Rashomon‘ movie, telling a 21 century story staged in the high-tech third millennium under the auspice of the Goldstone report as a metaphor.